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Master Thesis

Écriture collective et immédiat communicatif dans les lettres privées de femmes peu-lettrées du XVIIIème siècle

Abstract : The British National Archives in London is home to a collection of archive documents called the Prize Papers – over 160.000 documents including private letters, but also diaries, ledgers, bills, and even drawings, poems and playing cards. Seized by the British Crown between 1652 and 1817 in the context of the practice of prize-taking – an early modern naval practice designed to target enemy nations’ economic activity by looting the merchandise on their commercial ships – these documents were kept as proof that the prize was “lawful”, i.e., not a result of piracy. This dissertation looks at a corpus of 23 letters composed by women – all varying degrees of unskilled writers – between 1752 and 1793. It aims to contribute to the field of discourse analysis and historical sociolinguistics by exploring the idea of “collective writing” as a new (discursive) facet of the oral quality often attributed to the private writings of unskilled writers. Through the analysis of different aspects of what I call collective writing, I have shown that this concept too is subject to hybridity in its relationship to orality; elements of both conceptual orality and conceptual literacy (or communicative immediacy and communicative distance, as defined by Koch & Oesterrreicher 2001) can be found. In this corpus, however, I have observed a propensity for conceptual orality through the prevalence of attributes of communicative immediacy such as spontaneity, “public” communication, and referential anchoring.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 5:03:44 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, November 24, 2022 - 10:51:18 AM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-03868291, version 1


Juliette Thiriet. Écriture collective et immédiat communicatif dans les lettres privées de femmes peu-lettrées du XVIIIème siècle. Linguistique. 2022. ⟨dumas-03868291⟩



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